[ pluhm-er ]
/ ˈplʌm ər /


a person who installs and repairs piping, fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances in connection with the water supply, drainage systems, etc., both in and out of buildings.
Slang. an undercover operative or spy hired to detect or stop leaks of news or secret information, often using questionable or illegal methods, as illegal entry or wiretapping.
Obsolete. a worker in lead or similar metals.

Origin of plumber

1375–1425; 1965–70 for def 2; late Middle English, spelling variant of Middle English plowberLate Latin plumbārius leadworker; replacing Middle English plummer < Anglo-French; Old French plummier < Latin, as above. See plumb, -er2

Definition for plumber (2 of 2)

Origin of plumb

1250–1300; Middle English plumbe, probably < Anglo-French *plombe < Vulgar Latin *plumba, for Latin plumbum lead

Related forms

Can be confused

plum plumb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plumber

British Dictionary definitions for plumber (1 of 2)


/ (ˈplʌmə) /


a person who installs and repairs pipes, fixtures, etc, for water, drainage, and gas

Word Origin for plumber

C14: from Old French plommier worker in lead, from Late Latin plumbārius, from Latin plumbum lead

British Dictionary definitions for plumber (2 of 2)

Derived Forms

plumbable, adjective

Word Origin for plumb

C13: from Old French plomb (unattested) lead line, from Old French plon lead, from Latin plumbum lead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012